Research Query: Two paintings listed as Viktor Ivanovich Ivanov (b. 1924) with label reading М.В. Иванов

Emily O'Leary's picture

Dear colleagues,

I am writing in regard to two paintings (both dated 1959) in our collection which, up until recent email correspondence with the curator of the permanent Viktor Ivanov exhibition at the Ryazan State Regional Art Museum, were believed to be by Viktor Ivanov (b. 1924). The paintings were acquired directly from the Grosvenor Gallery in London, via Eric Estorick, and were included in his groundbreaking 1964 exhibition "Aspects of Contemporary Soviet Art." The catalogue for that exhibition lists the two paintings we own by Ivanov (p. 9), and lists Viktor Ivanov as the artist, born in 1924 (p. 24) (Link with PDF of catalogue is below). The works themselves have gallery labels on the reverse of the canvases that identify them as the paintings in the exhibition. However, the Ryazan Museum has told me that the paintings are not by Viktor Ivanov, confirmed by the artist himself after viewing the photos I sent, and provided photographs of signatures on paintings executed in 1959 they have on view. The signatures are indeed different.

Upon further inspection, there is also a Soviet export label next to the English-language Grosvenor Gallery label which indicates the name "М.В. Иванов." How ever unlikely it may seem, the only conclusion I can reach is that the Grosvenor Gallery made a mistake in 1964, believing they were exhibiting Viktor Ivanov per their exhibition catalogue, the famous Severe style artist, but in fact had a different artist altogether without realizing.

I'd appreicate any insight into this conundrum, and specifically, if anyone is familiar with an artist named М.В. Иванов?

Photos and the catalogue itself can be accessed here via Dropbox:

Many thanks,

Emily O'Leary
Associate Curator
Derfner Judaica Museum + The Art Collection
Hebrew Home at Riverdale
5901 Palisade Avenue
Bronx, New  York 10471

A suggestion from Matthew Bown via Facebook:

IVANOV, Mikhail (Makhil) Vsevolodovich. Born in Detskoe Selo, Leningrad region, 1927. Studied at Moscow Intermediate Art School 1943-46; Moscow Art Institute/Surikov Institute 1946-52. Active in Moscow. Began exhibiting 1952? Member of Group of Eight. Specialised in urban landscapes. Nonconformist artist 1960s-80s.